Daily Archives: November 5, 2007

Give ’em a chance, How to get more for calves at the auction barn

Give ’em a chance, How to get more for calves at the auction barn

CAB Partners

In an auction barn, every feeder calf is judged for a few seconds before its value is determined.

Cow-calf producers who sell at auction should take note of research by the University of Arkansas that documented distinct traits and management practices that can add dollars. In 2000 and 2005, the University worked with USDA Livestock Market News reporters to track data from 17 markets across the state.

The results showed the largest differences in price were due to health, muscle score, breed and body fill.

“There was a $42 (per hundredweight, or cwt.) spread between the healthy cattle and the sickest calf,” says Tom Troxel, animal science associate department head at the University of Arkansas. Muscle score was second with a $38.24/cwt. spread between the heaviest and lightest muscled animals, followed by breed type with a $33.28/cwt. gap between the top and bottom money-getters.


Sorting Cows In The Fall For Efficient Winter Feeding

Sorting Cows In The Fall For Efficient Winter Feeding


Sound sorting concepts of the spring-calving beef cow herd in the fall should improve the efficiency of the feeding program throughout the winter. Before we divide up the herd, it makes some sense to inventory the cows to be divided. How many cows of each age group do we have? Every herd will be a little bit different, but a Research Station Herd in North Dakota can give us data to use as a guideline. Data from the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center reported recently on the average percentage of cows in their herd (by age group) over the last 20 years.

This data points out that 17% of this herd over the years was in the “first-calf heifer” category. They also noted that 11% of the herd was 10 years of age and older. Fifteen (15%) percent of the cows were 2nd calf 3 year-olds. From this data, one could formulate three logical groups of cows to be pastured together for feeding efficiency.


BeefTalk: Forward Thinkers Always Are Needed in the Beef Industry

BeefTalk: Forward Thinkers Always Are Needed in the Beef Industry

Some organizations seem to have a purpose or function that extends through time.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Organizations come and go, especially organizations formed for a specific purpose. As that purpose or the need diminishes, so does the organization.

Some organizations seem to have a purpose or function that extends through time. These organizations are made up of forward-thinking people who have an ability to keep the never ending complex world organized.

One such group is the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association. I turned to the group for assistance when I was asked to testify before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The request was for information related to a qualitative and, to the extent possible, quantitative analysis of the economic effects of foreign animal health and sanitary and food safety measures on U.S. beef exports. As I pondered what I might contribute, I reflected on the NDBCIA’s success.


Cattle Diseases: IBR

Cattle Diseases:  IBR

Cattle Today

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (commonly called IBR or red nose) is an acute, contagious virus disease of cattle.  Often implicated as an infection which initiates the shipping fever complex.  This infection usually occurs in the air passages of the head and the wind pipe.  However, in females this virus also causes inflammation of the vulva and vagina and abortion. Abortion occurs about 20 to 45 days after infection.


NDSU Offers 12-Month Livestock-Pasture-Forage Management Planning Course

NDSU Offers 12-Month Livestock-Pasture-Forage Management Planning Course


A course on 12-month livestock-pasture-forage management will be offered Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 2 through 4, on the campus of Dickinson State University.

The course is designed for producers and students who want to learn more about developing pasture-forage management plans. This planning course is a cooperative project of the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center, DSU Agricultural Department and NDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department.

Each participant in the course will develop a grassland management strategy that provides a full 12-month forage sequence for his or her ranch, says Lee Manske, DREC range scientist and one of the course instructors. Participants will learn about range ecology, livestock nutrition and forage production so they can understand and operate their 12-month pasture-forage management plans.


IN THEORY: Some animal pragmatism

IN THEORY: Some animal pragmatism

Glendale News

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

The Humane Society of the United States has reportedly unveiled a new initiative to better educate believers of various faiths on the mistreatment of farm animals such as hens, chickens and pigs. Underpinning the message to believers is a belief that the faithful are not receiving the message that animals are being subjected to harsh treatment, and that under the tenets of world faiths, God would not approve. Religion can play a role here, advocates say, to promote compassion for these animals as an obligation of faith. Do you think believers need to know more about what is happening to these animals, and that there is a moral imperative — a biblical mandate, as some theologians say — to protect these animals from the suffering they face in factories and cages? What role, if any, can the religious community play here?


Cargill recalls 1 million lbs of beef possibly tainted by E. coli

Cargill recalls 1 million lbs of beef possibly tainted by E. coli


Detroit Free Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill Inc. said Saturday it is recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the second time in less than a month it has voluntarily recalled beef that may have been tainted.

No illnesses have been reported, said John Keating, president of Cargill Regional Beef.

The agribusiness giant produced the beef between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 at a plant in Wyalusing, Pa. and distributed it to retailers across the country. They include Giant, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.


Cattle expert lauded, Golden Spur to be given

Cattle expert lauded, Golden Spur to be given

By Kevin Welch

Amarillo Globe-News

Jay O’Brien stands in his office lobby Friday with the steer head of “Old Blue.”

With a degree from Yale and service on the boards of banks and High Plains Public Radio, Jay O’Brien isn’t the movie version of a cattleman.

“I don’t know if there is a stereotypical cattleman,” he said.

The examples he cites include oilman and Amarillo Livestock Auction partner Jay L. Taylor, who previously won the National Golden Spur Award, the same award O’Brien will receive tonight.


Ranchers Seek Cattle That Gain Weight While Dieting

Ranchers Seek Cattle That Gain Weight While Dieting

Trait is helpful as the price of feed corn keeps rising.


McClatchy Newspapers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | Rancher John Barnum is trying to build a herd of cattle that sounds like something out a dieter’s nightmare: They eat less, but still get fat.

That trait is increasingly seen as a key to staying in business for ranchers reeling from the effects of high-priced corn.

“We’re hoping it’ll make us more profitable in the long run,” said Barnum, 23, who manages a family ranch in the rangelands of northeastern California.

Last year, the ethanol boom drove the price of corn up nearly 65 percent over six months, sending feed, the cattle business’s main expense, soaring. Meanwhile, the price of those animals at slaughter has hardly budged.


Efforts to produce more efficient cattle highlighted

Efforts to produce more efficient cattle highlighted

High Plains Journal

What if you could come up with a cow that produced equal gains on a reduced amount of feed or forage? How important would that be? It would mean extra money in the pocketbooks of beef producers, according to Robert Seay, Benton County staff chair for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Seay said a few well-known breeders have invested years of effort and money in identifying breeding lines that deliver more efficiency. He said their efforts have received extra momentum from the push to convert corn into ethanol, which has resulted in higher feed and nitrogen fertilizer costs for beef producers.


Fescue is at its best from now through May

Fescue is at its best from now through May

Springfield News-Leader

Even though fescue does have some problems (fescue toxicosis or fungus conditions), this important grass is at its best between now and May, according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“New, leafy fescue pasture will test in the teens for crude protein and the total digestible nutrient (TDN) levels will be in the upper 50 to 60 percent range until hard freezes occur. These levels of quality will support most beef cow nutrient needs regardless of stage of production,” Cole said.


Land beef, Rancher vs. land-locked neighbor

Land beef, Rancher vs. land-locked neighbor

By Laura Brown

The Union

An 865-acre cattle ranch off Bitney Springs Road has become the center of a lawsuit, sparking questions about the right to access one’s property and the protection of quickly disappearing agricultural lands.

The ranch, known as Linden Lea by owners Anna Reynolds Trabucco and her husband Bill Trabucco, also is home to 150 grass-fed cows raised by Jim Gates for his business, Nevada County Free Range Beef.


Senate to debate farm bill today

Senate to debate farm bill today

Thune, Johnson aim to fend off attacks


Argus Leader

WASHINGTON – South Dakota lawmakers expect they will be playing defense today when the $288 billion farm bill moves to the Senate floor for debate and a final vote.

Sens. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and John Thune, a Republican, say they are satisfied with the five-year bill that emerged from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. They will be trying to head off senators seeking to divert money from programs that benefit South Dakota farmers and who want to unravel the existing farm safety net.


Cattle groups seek injunction against Canadian cattle

Cattle groups seek injunction against Canadian cattle

Rapid City Journal

BILLINGS, Mont. — R-CALF USA, South Dakota Stockgrowers and nine other plaintiffs are seeking  a district court in South Dakota to issue a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implement its “over 30 month” rule, or OTM.

The rule, scheduled to take effect Nov. 19, would open the Canadian border to imports of live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef products from OTM Canadain cattle.

“R-CALF USA’S policy initiatives are based on direct feedback from our members who have strongly endorsed efforts to maintain strong protections for the health of the U.S. cattle herd and the highest level of confidence in U.S. cattle and U.S. beef,” said Bill Bullard, R-CALF chief executive.


Ranchers talk beef labeling at conference

Ranchers talk beef labeling at conference


Great Falls Tribune

Similar to that on vehicles and clothing, cattle producers would also like to see country-of-origin labels on beef products.

“It’s about time, isn’t it?” said Leo McDonnell, former director of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, to several hundred ranchers at the sixth annual Cattlemen’s Day gathering in Great Falls on Saturday. “How many successful businesses promote a product and don’t tell where it’s from?”